The Denver Broncos won their third straight game with a 24-22 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football in Week 10. In consecutive games, head coach Sean Payton has helped the Broncos end a pair of lengthy losing streaks to AFC teams.
Following the game, Payton told reporters Denver had a “good win on the road” but acknowledged a few things need to be cleaned up.
“We felt the turnover margin was going to be significant,” said Payton on November 13. “And it was. Normally if you finish plus-three, you’d win by more, but we hurt ourselves offensively with penalties. I mean the first half, there were four different times we were third-and-10 or more and there’s a penalty on the drive that’s putting us in those spots.”
The Broncos were able to score just six points on four turnovers. Overall, Payton was “proud” of Denver for how they “fought and hung in there.”
“Defensively we did a lot of good things against an explosive team. They’re a tough team to beat here, especially when they come off a loss. I think they’re 33-1. With this quarterback and this head coach when they come off a loss, it’s pretty good, and we felt good about the plan the week leading up to it. We’ll have a lot of good tape to watch,” Payton said.
With the win, the Broncos moved closer to putting their dreadful 1-5 start behind them.
Buffalo’s Self-Inflicted Wounds Gifted Broncos With Upset Win
Buffalo had four turnovers on the night against the Broncos. Running back James Cook fumbled the ball on the Bills’ first offensive possession after a four-yard reception.
Allen threw two interceptions, both coming in the first half. The All-Pro quarterback also lost a fumble on a failed handoff to Cook with 1:19 left in the third quarter.
Things got worse for the Bills on the Broncos’ game-winning drive. Two critical mistakes prevented the home team from coming away with a much-needed win.
Then, the Bills thought they won the game after Wil Lutz missed a 41-yard field goal with four seconds remaining. Buffalo ended up having too many men on the field during the miss.
Lutz made the most of his second chance as he kicked a game-winning 36-yard field goal for the win.
Broncos Can Even Their Record by Defeating the Vikings in Week 11
The Broncos are a primetime win over the Minnesota Vikings away from evening their record at 5-5 on the season. Denver can reach .500 for the first time in 2023 if they can defeat the Vikings on Sunday Night Football.
The turnaround for Payton’s team has been remarkable, given their 0-3 start to the year. This is not the same team that the Miami Dolphins blew out by 50 points.
Back-to-back wins over playoff contenders have done enough to change the narrative in Denver.
The Broncos must get past a red-hot Vikings team to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. Per The New York Times, Denver increased their postseason chances to 10 percent with their win over Buffalo. They can up their chances to 14 percent if they defeat the Vikings.
Minnesota has overcome a similarly rough start to the 2023 campaign. The Vikings opened the year 1-4 before ripping off five consecutive wins.
Despite losing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles, Josh Dobbs has carried the load for Minnesota. Dobbs has five total touchdowns with the team since being acquired at the October 31 trade deadline.
The Broncos have surpassed expectations over their three-game winning streak. Denver is gifted another chance to keep surprising in front of a national audience in Week 11.